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Mo' Comerica

Comerica's moving to Dallas, sure, but bringing with it only 200 employees, which means, according to its top execs, some 7,300 emplyees will stay in Michigan -- many of them in Detroit Rock City. Nonetheless, yesterday a group of Detroit ministers marched in front of Comerica Inc.'s downtown Detroit tower to protest its coming to Dallas by year's end. "We're calling on the community to leave Comerica as Comerica is leaving Detroit," said Rev. Charles E. Williams, president of the Mary Terrell Council for Community Empowerment in Detroit. "At least 200 key jobs at Comerica will be leaving Detroit that will have an affect on our housing economy, daycare economy, our food and everything else in Detroit." Yeah, their food.

Meanwhile, The Dallas Morning News today is "hopping happy" over the relocation -- which will cost taxpayers some $4 million, once you total up the dough being offered by the the Texas Enterprise Fund (a $3.5 million grant) and the city, which will give Comerica some $500,000 in economic incentives over 10 years when the city council gives its inevitable blessing. (Somehow, "hopping happy" doesn't seem very Big Market Daily, does it?)

And The Detroit Free Press today says Comerica's corporate HQ relocation is "risky," to say the least. After all, Comerica only has about 2.5 percent of the Dallas-Fort Worth banking market, according to the analysts at SNL Financial. That means Comerica ranks No. 7 in the area -- a far cry from the top spot secured by New York-based JP Morgan, which has 27.5 percent of the market. But the Freep piece also says Merrill Lynch, at least, likes the move: "Comerica -- which has had a presence in Texas for almost 20 years -- would have good bragging rights with a Texas headquarters. [Merrill Lynch analyst Heather] Wolf wrote that moving to Dallas could open up 'Texan banking relationships.'" --Robert Wilonsky

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